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Kareem Fahim

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Is life of all children equal?

*Last week twenty children were killed in USA. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20730717
*A couple of days ago 10 young girls died because of a landmine when they were collecting wood. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20752337
*'Did We Just Kill A Kid?' — Six Words That Ended A US Drone Pilot's Career. http://www.businessinsider.com/did-we-just-kill-a-kid-nicola-abe-der-spiegel-brandon-bryant-2012-12
And NO I am not here to whine how media isn't giving same 'coverage' to death of these children (Which wouldn't make any difference to parents' pain). Its just these three events kinda triggered this question in my mind: 'Is life of all children really equal?'
And I don't care whether it is some Nut-job, Soviet Union, Taliban or US Army who kill them I just want to know: Is life of some 'less' important?
(Please do not make this thread into a political debate)

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    Dec 19 2012: All life is equal. I wish all of these deaths received the same amount of coverage here in the U.S.

    Whoever controls the media controls the mind : / .
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    Dec 19 2012: The press are a strange beast. A tsunami washed 40,000 people away in Japan and all the press coverage was about a nuclear meltdown which in the end didn't kill anyone. It's all about pandering to the masses. Plus you need to insulate yourself from tragedies that are far away, otherwise you would be in a constant state of mourning. But yes all lives are equal but the world press is controlled by the west except for Al Jazeera.
    • Dec 19 2012: What we see in the West is controlled by the Western press. Nobody in China watches the BBC.
  • Dec 20 2012: It is fundamentally inequal. Among third world those of us in western countries have been systematically numbed to the situation of kids/people dying in other parts of the world by repeated (and almost constant) pleas for assistance by various charities, thus when it happens in our own back yard it is much more shocking
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    Dec 20 2012: No, when it comes down to it you are engineered to save your own first just like everyone else is engineered to save their own first too.

    It's a great Q though and you bring to attention something that most people will not like if they face it with open honesty.
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    Dec 18 2012: Why do you assume that equality is measurable in its entirety by the amount of news coverage? How equal were children before the invention of broadcasting time back then?

    Have you ever noticed, that war casualties, especially of children, are almost only broad casted in 'pro war participation' times within a nation and almost near to zero as 'collateral damage' count once a nation decided to be on war? Vietnam was a 'lesson' for all nations on this topic.

    Even though media does influence our perception, it is always on us not to take it as a 'scale' of importance, Neither by its content, nor by the numbers of repetition or its subsumed airtime. Because if we do, questions like yours then become necessary yet pointless.
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    Dec 18 2012: What wonders me is as some die and whole world is overwhelmed. Whilst other keep on dying repeatedly and no one seem to care...
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      Dec 18 2012: I don't think it is true, Kareem, that no one cares. I assume when you say others keep dying repeatedly you mean that there are places where people are dying all the time- like children in refugee camps, and you believe people do not seem to care.

      What I think is more true is that people decide which problems they will work on because they cannot work on everything. While the deaths of twenty children by someone barely out of childhood himself is heartbreaking any way you look at it, I would guess that more people the world over who engage in some sort of charitable giving at this time of year are steering that effort or resources to situations of continuous strife than to Connecticut.

      I have no evidence for this claim, but exactly because some of these crisis situations in, say, refugee camps, are continuous, it is harder to notice the continuous, wordwide worry and attempts to help that are, in fact, underway.
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        Dec 18 2012: Ok, thanks for reply
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          Dec 18 2012: Kareem, as this issue is very important to you, and as I believe you are a student, I wondered if your intended career or life direction involves service in this area.
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        Dec 18 2012: "Kareem, as this issue is very important to you, and as I believe you are a student, I wondered if your intended career or life direction involves service in this area."

        I will end my studies soon. I am working on (like all my class) 'sustainability (financial) projects' at university. Although I must confess I am very seriously searching for 'what to do' (I don't wanna live a zombie life). My hope is strong and Insha'Allah I'll make a positive change.
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    Dec 18 2012: John is right, I think, that people will feel more pain at the death of a child of their own than of a child they do not know. This does not speak to the value in a broad sense of one person's life relative to another, but only to the way specific individuals are affected. That said, there is more than enough room in many hearts to find the death of children heartbreaking, regardless of where they live.

    This is not a matter exclusive to how we humans feel about our children. My father's photo (and only his) sits permanently in my line of sight beside my computer, not because I believe he was more important in a big picture sense than other people's deceased parents but because of who he was to me. People will tend to cry more and be more affected by the death of a loved one than of a stranger.
    Somehow I feel like all of us who have responded thus far might be missing the meaning of your question.
  • Dec 18 2012: "Is life of all children equal?"

    To me, yes, but I'm not a parent, I think many parents would secretly rather see 2 children killed on the other side of the world (or the country) than see 1 of their own children killed and that might be buried so deeply in human instinct that you can't really change it.

    Edit: as Fritzie said "This does not speak to the value in a broad sense of one person's life relative to another, but only to the way specific individuals are affected. That said, there is more than enough room in many hearts to find the death of children heartbreaking, regardless of where they live." I guess it couldn't be any other way because so many people die each instant that it would be impossible for us to carry one if our minds saw every death the same as the death of a loved one.
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    Dec 18 2012: I'll put it this way..
    A man in Outer Mongolia was just run over. His children and wife are terribly upset, how upset are you at this moment about the event? None? Not very?
    So the question is, why are you less bothered than those who are immediately effected and/or within a local proximity? Why don't your emotions not reflect the emotions you would have if it was your personal friend/neighbor/teacher/colleague? Does this mongolian mans life not have equal worth?

    Answering that answers your own question.
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      Dec 18 2012: So ignorance (in our era of information technology!) is the excuse... come on Xavi!

      If Mongolian was run over by president's drunk son who accuses the dead Mongolian to be at wrong spot. That would be outrageous, wouldn't it?

      “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” - Noam Chomsky
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        Dec 18 2012: No one said ignorance was the excuse.
        Ill ask again. Why does the death of your neighbor (for example) effect you more than the death of someone on the other side of the country?
        Why don't you mourn at every tomb at a graveyard?

        Edit for below.
        It seems you're not getting the point of the argument.
        Millions of children die every year for various reasons. The way you respond to any of these and the way you respond to the death of a child in your family are two very different things.
        One is relevant to you and the other is displaced. That is the point.
        People are more interested in the death of their own children than the ones they see on tv in a distant country because the event is less relevent, they are independent of it.

        This is why you don't mourn at every gravesite in a graveyard, you just focus on the one which is relevant to yourself.
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          Dec 18 2012: That is an absurd question. Again (for me at-least) death of all children who are MURDERED means same thing- no matter whoever/wherever they live in!